Working to engage staff in any form of training is essential in order for it to be effective and health and safety is no different. As with any form of training you want your message to be embraced and adopted amongst the people affected by and administering the information.
An imaginative approach
Being imaginative in your approach to training is one way to try and engage with trainees. Taking time to go beyond the regulatory needs and finding some common ground with the people you’re talking to can serve to humanise the content. Relating information to sport or issues that may arise within the home is something that might help to improve concentration and activity.
Inclusion from the top down
People like to know that stipulations apply to everyone within the organisation so getting the buy in from leaders and managers shows commitment and the relevance of the information. It’s essential to show that the ethos of health and safety is being adopted by all, so shutting down machinery whilst the session takes place or some other similar display of regard to the training works extremely well.
There’s no I in team
Accidents don’t recognise status or position, so it makes sense that health and safety training and implementation shouldn’t either. Some businesses have benefitted by making the implementation of health and safety a co-operative effort with a team put together to oversee the effectiveness of the procedures. Personal responsibility for the requirements should be encouraged wherever possible, promoting pride in averting issues happening in the workplace.
Other tips for implementing a positive health and safety culture might include –
- Be patient – It takes time to affect a new culture and win hearts and minds
- Keep it real – Once it does take hold you can’t just let it run. You have to keep it fresh and up to date, fighting complacency all the way
- Horses for courses – Not everyone will respond to the same message. Be prepared to tailor your approach for different layers of the business
- Pay particular attention to line managers – Experience suggests that line managers are traditionally the hardest group to convince to buying into this approach. Be ready with a strategy to deal with them specifically
- Always provide feedback – If employees begin to buy in and start reporting issues and instances, make sure to provide feedback and comment. People have to feel that their contributions are important and appreciated
- Access all areas – Consider involving any contractors into the training and process where possible. This will improve standards and also further display the commitment to the process to regular staff
- Make it fun – Engagement can be fun and enjoyable. It can involve competitions and other fun ways to engage with staff. The more people enjoy being involved the easier it will be to convey the message
Don’t forget, an effective health and safety policy can be important on many different levels, including cost efficiency. Taking pride in the implementation and continued application will help to keep ideas fresh and innovative, promoting engagement and success in staff from top to bottom.